6 steps to event success
From finding the right venue to providing quality catering, our hints and tips will help you to plan a great conference that is destined for success.
When it comes to running conferences, there is a lot of competition out there, and it can be difficult to stand out in a crowded field. However, we’re put together some of our top tips that will help you to plan a winning conference that is destined for success.
Set clear goals
Before you start organising your conference, you need to set some clear goals and objectives for the event. What is the purpose of the event? What do you want it to achieve? What makes it special? Who is your target market? By nailing these things down at an early stage, you will have a solid foundation on which to build a highly successful event.
Choose the right date
One of the first things you need to do is to decide on a date for your event. September to November tends to be the most popular time of year for conferences – and there are sound logistical reasons for this – but you may want to minimise the competition and make your event stand out by holding it at a different time of the year. However, be careful to avoid school holidays if you can as a lot of people tend to have child care commitments. Whatever time of year you choose, the most important thing is to give yourself plenty of lead time, so that you can give your event the time and attention it deserves.
Find a winning venue
The venue can make or break your conference, so it’s important to get it right. Select a location that is convenient for both exhibitors and delegates, and make sure that your preferred venue has the plenary spaces, breakout rooms, and networking areas that your agenda requires. It’s also important that the venue can work collaboratively with you, and has the flexibility, experience and expertise to support you to realise your vision.
Provide quality catering
Great catering is an important element of any event, and some soggy sandwiches and a fruit platter just won’t cut it. Treat your guests to fresh, seasonal and tasty food, and consider what style of food best suits your event – whether that’s a sit-down meal, a buffet, or some bowl food. And don’t forget hot drinks. Ready access to good quality coffee is key if you want to keep your delegates alert until the end of the day. If your venue can’t supply this, you may want to find a supplier who offers coffee machine hire for conferences so that people can grab a cuppa as and when they want one.
Source great speakers
If people are taking time out of their busy lives to attend your conference, you need to ensure that their time is well-spent – and that means finding quality, engaging speakers who can inform and inspire your delegates, and who can bring something new to the table. This is where a long lead time comes in handy, as the best speakers often get booked up months in advance – so forward planning is key.
Think outside the box
The conferences that are most successful are those which offer something a little bit different. So, get the march on your competitors by thinking outside the box and adding innovative elements to your event. Some of the biggest upcoming trends in conferencing include digital engagement, interactivity, unique venues and creative catering, and building some of these into your event could help to take your conference to the next level.
Conference planning takes a lot of work, but by taking some of these hints on board, you can create a successful event that keeps delegates coming back year after year.